Add Some Praise and Fun – Show Gratitude and Improve Your Mood

Last week a colleague and I were engaged in a project that delivered far better than expected results. Throughout the process, and especially after the fact, we praised each other for our efforts and reveled in the results. This entire experience was also fun.

All too often I think we forget the fun in our workplaces and our work. We forget to praise others for the fun they bring to us and our work. For many, today’s workplace is a fearful, angry and depressed place, largely due to the recession and its immediate impacts to the workforce.

Especially in these times – and in this season – take a moment to praise and to thank those who make your work and your workday a little more fun.

Research even shows doing so will improve your own mood over the long term. Psyblog reports:
Positive emotions are associated with greater creativity, increased problem-solving ability, and greater overall success in life. So here's one way to quickly and sustainably improve your mood: practice your gratitude.

The Evidence
* Emmons and McCullough (2003) were surprised to find that happiness could be increased by a simple gratitude exercise. Participants took the time to write down 5 things they were grateful for each week, for 10 weeks. At the end of the study this group were 25% happier than a comparison group who simply listed five events from the week.
* Seligman, Steen, Park and Peterson (2005) carried out a randomised, placebo-controlled study. They followed participants up 6 months after they had begun carrying out a simple gratitude exercise and found they were happier and less depressed than a control group. In this study, though, participants initially wrote about what they were grateful for every day for a week.

In this season of giving, give the gift of gratitude – and improve your own mood in the process. Happy holidays to everyone

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